Les Prés since le Signal
Summer hike
Les Prés since le Signal
Les Contamines-Montjoie

Les Prés since le Signal

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8 points of interest

  • Flora

    TheRusty-leaved Alpenrose

    Its name refers to the rusty color of the underside of its leaves! This plant belongs to the Ericaceae family which includes Blueberries and Heathers. It flowers from the end of June and attracts many pollinating insects.

    It is fond of cool areas: it grows more easily on the ubac - the northern slope – receiving little sunshine. This preference can be explained by the fact that it does not lose its leaves during the winter, so, in order not to freeze, it needs a good snow cover!
  • Fauna

    Handsome as Apollo

    This butterfly is a rhopalocera, which means a diurnal butterfly. It is found in the mountains, in open areas with specific vegetation, its caterpillar having a preference for stonecrops or houseleeks, while adults are fond of thistles’ and other knapweeds’ nectar. It is beautiful... like a Greek god, however, just watch it, because it is an endangered species, protected on international and French level !
  • Panorama

    Panorama on the Mont-Blanc massif

    From here you can admire Mont-Blanc, the highest peak in Europe (4810 m) and the massif it dominates!
    Admire the view of these other peaks: Aiguille de Bionassay (4052 m), Dômes de Miage (3633 m) or Aiguille Nord de Tré la Tête (3892 m), the highest peak of the nature reserve. From this position, you can observe the different natural environments protected by the reserve situated in an area with over 2800 m of altitude variation, starting at the forest level.
  • Fauna

    The Northern Wheatear

    Have you seen Zorro with his black blindfold?!

    This is the male of the Northern Wheatear, a sparrow-sized passerine bird. Nevertheless, this 25g featherweight is a long-distance migratory bird. Indeed, if it comes to nest in the mountains during the summer season, in search of insects such as flies, crickets and other grasshoppers, which abound in the alpine grasslands, it spends the winter much further south, in the savannas of tropical Africa, from Mauritania to Tanzania!
  • Refuge

    The mountain refuge of la Balme

    Located at the foot of ‘Aiguilles de la Pennaz’ (2668 m) on the ‘Tour du Mont-Blanc’ trail, this refuge has been managed by 3 generations of the same family to welcome hikers. This old farm is surrounded by mountain pastures, still managed by mountain farmers.

    Estimate the height of the roof and imagine that during the winter only the chimney isn’t covered by the snowpack!

    This refuge is open from June to September.
  • Cow mountain

    How to recognize the breeds of mountain cows grazing together in these pastures?

    The breed called "Abondance" was born in the village of the same name in the Chablais area in Haute-Savoie. It can be recognized by its mahogany-colored coat and belly and its white head.

    The "d'Herens" breed is coming from the Valais region in Switzerland. More stocky, it has a plain coat, often black, sometimes dark red or chestnut. Its lively and belligerent behavior is used during the traditional "Fight of the queens" in the 3 areas around Mont-Blanc. But don’t panic, these games are harmless for the competing animals!
  • The mountain pasture

    Mountain pastures are landscapes shaped by human activities since prehistory, during the neolithic era, when first started livestock farming.
    Without the grazing of domestic animals at this altitude, this environment would be composed by few species of bushes and according animal species. The alpine pasture is a rare example of human activity generating biodiversity in both animal and plant species, more abundant than what the natural evolution of the environment would produce. It hosts many species of plants, birds, invertebrates, mammals...
  • Fauna

    The Ring Ouzel

    According to the classification of organisms, this bird belongs to the same genus as the Common Blackbird and is similar in size. It is a mountain species which spend the whole year in the Alps without migrating. It nests in the transition zone between two vegetation belts, the subalpine (forest)zone and the alpine (lawn) zone where the trees, less present, remember of bonsais with their stunted silhouettes.
    The Ring Ouzel can be recognized by the white bib on its chest.


From the car park, take the cable car "la Gorge" to the end station "Signal", the starting point of the hike:
  1. Take the track on your right towards "Chalets de Roselette".
  2. Take the track on the right.
  3. At the bifurcation, take the track on the right, going up to "Les prés".
  4. At "chalet des prés", take the track that goes up on your right.
  5. Continue on the passable track to go down.
  • Departure : End stop « le Signal »,Les Contamines-Montjoie
  • Arrival : End station le Signal, les Contamines Montjoie
  • Towns crossed : Les Contamines-Montjoie

Altimetric profile

Sensitive areas

Along your trek, you will go through sensitive areas related to the presence of a specific species or environment. In these areas, an appropriate behaviour allows to contribute to their preservation. For detailed information, specific forms are accessible for each area.
Impacted practices:
Aerial, , Land, Vertical
Asters - Conservatoire d'espaces naturels de Haute-Savoie

Black grouse - winter

Impacted practices:
, Land
Sensitivity periods:


Always be careful and plan ahead when hiking. Asters, CEN 74 can not be held responsible for the occurrence of an accident or any inconvenience on this itinerary.


Shuttles from the center of the village of Contamines-Montjoie (from the end of June to the beginning of September).

Access and parking

Go to Contamines-Montjoie (74170).
Cross the village and stay on the Route de Notre Dame de la Gorge (D902) for 1.5 kilometers until you reach the cable cars of "la Gorge".
Park at the large ski lift park on your left.
Take the gondolas to "le Signal".

Parking :

Parking cable car La Gorge


Emergency number :114

More information

Report a problem or an error

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